Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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Each community needs to determine their preferred rate of growth based on input from residents, the capacity of their infrastructure, and balancing development with conservation of agricultural land and natural resources. The state should not dictate these decisions, as local residents need a strong voice in shaping their own futures. When the needs of growing communities intersect with state concerns, like roads and broadband infrastructure, I will always listen and will be a strong advocate for all of our communities in western Wisconsin.
It isn't just teachers that are in short supply. Employee shortages are being felt across many business sectors. The best way to remedy this is to attract talented individuals to Wisconsin and more importantly convince Wisconsinites to stay right here in Wisconsin. We do this by making Wisconsin an attractive place to live, work and raise a family. We can also make the barriers to entry in a given profession more reasonable. For example, make the process for individuals permitted to work in other states easier to become permitted in Wisconsin.
I would support educational programs for the young. I would support legislation to help fund treatment and substance abuse facilities. I would speak about the link between pharmaceutical companies who donate to politicians in return for lax regulation on frequency and quantity of prescription opioids. I would stress the lobbying power the pharmaceutical industry holds over legislators and use my platform to connect the dots, i.e.: Dr. Curtis Wright who served with the FDA and helped approve Oxycontin before leaving government to work for Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin. We must recognize the corruption if we ever hope to fix it.
We first need to stop the war on teachers unions. We need to properly fund our schools in a focused way, not just spend money on flashy technology. I would support partial student loan forgiveness for teachers that relocate to teach in certain areas where staffing is difficult.
Deputies were called at 10:10 p.m. Dec. 2 to W6286 Highway 63 in Ellsworth for a domestic disturbance involving a man who tried setting fire to a house. The man fled the scene before officers arrived. Attempted bank break-in An attempted break-in was reported Nov. 27 at a bank at W3532 Highway 35 in Maiden Rock. Theft targets Christmas trees
An Ellsworth woman accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from a River Falls care facility was convicted this week in St. Croix County Circuit Court. Elizabeth A. Palo, 50, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Dec. 5, to one count of felony theft as part of a plea agreement that calls for three other identical counts to be dismissed.
One person was injured last week the car she was a passenger in struck a deer in rural River Falls. Pierce County sheriff's deputies responded to the crash at 5:40 p.m. Nov. 30 on Highway 29 near 770th Street in the town of River Falls, where the car was stalled. The driver, identified as 22-year-old Baldwin resident Rachel Lind, was driving a 2001 Chevy Cavalier when it struck a deer. Lind was uninjured, but passenger Bailey Weber, 26, Amery, was taken by ambulance to River Falls Area Hospital for her injuries. Weber and Lind both received seat belt tickets.
A 12-year-old boy was hospitalized Saturday after being thrown from a horse-and-buggy ride at a Stockholm Christmas celebration. Pepin County Sheriff Joel Wener said the boy was one of eight passengers, along with the horses’ owner, on a buggy at the God Jul festival, held Dec. 2, when the incident occurred at about 12:46 p.m.
ELLSWORTH — The Elmwood-area man who converted his home into a dog kennel deemed to be the worst a state inspector said he ever saw was sentenced Thursday, Nov. 30 to jail time and probation. Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joe Boles sentenced Stuart E. West to 40 days in jail and three years on probation after the town of El Paso resident was convicted by a jury in October of 62 misdemeanor offenses. The 40 days will be reduced to 26 when accounting for time served and good time.
Goat carcasses were discovered Nov. 21 at 690th Avenue and County Road N in Beldenville. Two carcasses, suspected to be pygmy goats, were found in a ditch near a guardrail. The property owner reported the remains had been there about three weeks. No known suspects. Trespassers reported